New York Mayor Bloomberg is buying candidates in Los Angeles
- - - Billionaires are no longer satisfied with solid gold toilets. Now they are undermining democracy itself by spending huge sums of their money to remake government in their image.
Billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated $1 million to help preserve a Los Angeles Board of Education majority that is supported by the L.A. Mayor.
Never mind that Bloomberg does not even live in L.A. After all, what good is money if you can't bypass the voters and buy influence.
Brokered by Leftist Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the contribution to the Coalition for School Reform is the largest on record — by far — to support school board campaigns.
The group is planning to spend the money on behalf of one incumbent, school board President Monica Garcia, and two others, Kate Anderson and Antonio Sanchez, in the March 5 election reports the Los Angeles Times.
The donation could immediately skew election spending on behalf of those backed by Villaraigosa and the relatively small group of donors in the coalition, who have now collected more than $2.5 million. It is seeking both to protect Supt. John Deasy's policies and to override the historic influence of the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles.
"Michael Bloomberg threw down the gauntlet today," said Dan Schnur, director of the Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. "He's obviously very serious about changing education in America, and Los Angeles is now ground zero for that effort."
He added: "This is a game changer."
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Bill Gates spends $173 Million to shape government
- “There’s no accountability there, That’s the threat to the democratic process.”
- Billionaires are controlling public policy behind the scenes without any public knowledge.
The world’s largest philanthropy has targeted education policy making, sparking debate among education wonks and watchdogs over whether some of its activities cloak government actions and amount to lobbying.
“A lot of private foundations are making decisions that would normally be left up to a public institution that would be accountable to the taxpayers,” said Betty Peters, a member of Alabama’s state school board.
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The three big education grant-makers are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. Gates is by far the biggest. In total assets, Walton has $1.7 billion, Broad $2.2 billion, and Gates $37 billion, according to public documents.
Education watchdogs are raising concerns over the Gates Foundation’s involvement in shaping public education policy, saying the private foundation’s influence in public education policy interferes with the democratic process and local input.
The foundation, owned by Bill and Melinda Gates, is the world’s largest philanthropy and has been heavily involved in funding states’ new Common Core curriculum, the Heartland Institute reported on Monday.
Gates has spent $173 million in grants to develop Common Core standards and win support for the curriculum, according to a Heartland analysis of the Foundation’s grant database.
The Foundation’s funding amounts to a marketing campaign for Common Core, Jane Robbins, a senior fellow with American Principles Project, told The Washington Examiner.
“It’s the way [Gates is] doing it that we think is curious,” said Scott Thomas, dean of Claremont Graduate University’s education school, according to Heartland. “It’s an intrusion into the public sphere more directly that has not been seen before. They’re jumping into the policy process itself.
That’s an interesting position, for a nonprofit to be involved in things that look a lot like lobbying.”
The problem with this expensive marketing campaign is that the policies Gates helped fund were created “under the radar,” without input from stakeholders or legislators, said Robbins. Now the curriculum is taught to students across the country.
For example, The foundation has directly sponsored state departments of education and myriad groups who aim to influence policymakers. In 2012, it gave $1.9 million to the Kentucky Department of Education “to examine the use of high-quality curriculum to accelerate common core state standards implementation.”
Gates bankrolled the development of the Common Core through the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), but because all three are nonprofits their policy making happens in private meetings. Citizens can’t find out who attends or makes decisions, or what information they take into account when doing so, as they can for state boards of education and legislatures.
The grants were made to nonprofit organizations whose policy-making meetings were conducted behind closed doors, including the the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers, according to Heartland.
“Nobody really knew what was going on,” said Robbins. “There’s no accountability there,” Robbins said. “That’s the threat to the democratic process.”
Welcome to Serfdom
Modern Serfs are allowed to "vote" for candidates selected and funded for you by your Billionaire Masters. Democracy and freedom are so old fashioned.